VIVA VOINA! or Why Is The British Art World So Shit?

25 Jan

The Voina Group (pronounced va-ee-NA) are an infamous and brilliant anti-authoritarian/anarchist street-art/provo crew from Russia. They first found notoriety in 2008 when five couples staged a real orgy in a Moscow Museum to oppose the folly of the Russian elections.

Other actions have involved turning a Moscow Metro carriage into a dining car; shoplifting from a supermarket wearing priest’s robes and police helmets to show how invulnerable authority is to it’s own laws; and the stealing of a chicken hidden in a member’s vagina entitled: ‘How To Snatch A Chicken? The Tale Of How One Cunt Fed The Whole Group.’ 

The ‘Crossing the Rubicon / A Dick Captured By The FSB.’ prank – involving the painting of a 60-metre cock and balls on St Petersburg’s Liteiny Bridge just in time for it to be raised in mocking glory of the town’s FSB (ex-KGB) headquarters – caught the attention of the world’s media…

On 15 November 2010 Voina’s Leonid Nikolayev, aka Crazy Lenya, and Oleg Vorotnikov were arrested for overturning a police cars as part of a performance artwork entitled ‘Palace Coup’. Vorotnikov and the two-year-old son of another Voina member called Sokol, rolled a ball under the patrol car and four activists then turned the car over to get it back. The official charges were hooliganism motivated by hatred or hostility towards a social group… even though the police in Russia – or anywhere else in the world for that matter – can hardly be described as fucking ‘social’, let alone a ‘social group’. 😉

Whilst they were being held on remand the famous Bristol street-artist, Banksy (who is not a fucking patch on Sheffield’s Phlegm by the way) sent £80,000 in bail money to have them released. Viona promptly gave the money away to help other political prisoners.

In October Voina boarded the famous Russian ship, the Aurora, which fired the first shot against the monarchy in the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. They then scaled the masts and promptly hoisted the Jolly Roger…

Crazy Lenya is on record as saying: “I don’t give a fuck about art.” Which says it all really. But if artists in Britain were suddenly to learn from Voina and begin to undermine power and oppression through their work we’d have a lot more respect for them. Art in Britain has long lacked the ability to critique and unmask power and injustice (just as our comedians now fail to create true satire), but then so have our latter-day Anarchist groups. Maybe the Artists and Anarchists should have a competition to see who can be the first to how naked Emperor Cameron truly is! 😉


One Response to “VIVA VOINA! or Why Is The British Art World So Shit?”


  1. Train Research Group « trinketization - January 31, 2012

    […] done the ‘lunch on the metro’ stunt too (you need to scroll down to the third image): Also, in Belgium they are making the point somewhat more directly.  This is the latest and most […]

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